Sheldon Keefe addressed the media after his team’s 7-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks improved the Leafs’ record to 19-5-6.
On the team tightening it up defensively from the second period onward:
I thought we gave them too much room in the first period. Too easy access into our zone and into the middle of the ice. Sammy was excellent in that period and allowed us to settle in.
On Ilya Samsonov’s shutout streak of 153 minutes:
First of all, he has lots of personality. He is fun to be around and fun to talk to.
What really stands out is the work that he has put in since he arrived in our facility and how he has embraced the program. That is the goalie coach, the strength coach, a performance team, a nutritionist — it is all the way through. He has embraced everything we have brought to him and everything we have asked him to do.
He has put the work in. I think he feels good about where he is at with his game. He has done a good job of getting through the injury and getting back here now.
It was really good. The first period was excellent. A big save in the second period on the breakaway when it was still 2-0. I thought the team took care of him from there and was really good.
On Alex Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall, Pontus Holmberg, and Conor Timmins’ multi-point nights amid all of the secondary scoring in the game:
I think it is great for their confidence. A lot of those guys have been doing a good job for us but haven’t necessarily gotten rewarded for it offensively. They have done a lot of good things.
Through games like this, maybe you can get some traction with some guys. You are able to get them on the ice more and get a little more rhythm for them.
I thought Holmberg’s third period was outstanding both ways. He made plays with the puck and made defensive plays coming back and getting pucks back.
It is nice to see Joey Anderson score a goal. That line, in the third period, was really, really good. Engvall scores. Kerfoot gets a couple. They get us going in the game.
It was good all the way around. Timmins was moving the puck very efficiently for us again tonight. I think every single player on the sheet is a plus-one or better tonight. It is a good team win.
On whether he could see the weight lift off of Kerfoot’s shoulders with the goals:
No doubt. He is another guy that is a better player than his production would show, and he has played better than his production would show as well. He still plays important minutes for us.
We have been winning a lot of games. We focus so much on the offensive production, and we want everyone to produce. We want depth scoring and all of those kinds of things. But there are so many things that happen beyond the scoring that are so important and contribute to team wins.
That goes for even our top-four guys that have really carried us offensively. If they don’t do great things on the shifts when they are not scoring… There are obviously way more shifts that you take where you are not going to score, and what are you doing on those shifts to take care of the game and seek to eventually wear down the opponent to give us a chance to score?
Whether is Kerfoot, Kampf, Engvall, or today Aston-Reese – Holmberg – Anderson, those guys have been putting in good work. It is two good games from Joey here now. That is very positive.